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The players got to work in intense training with the coaching staff, plus some of the USA senior National Team coaches, and learned a lot.

But Tuesday’s 29-14 loss to Leinster Academy wasn’t easy to take despite the positives.

“It was a tough game, which we expected,” Head Coach Matt Sherman told RUGBYMag.com. “We had to catch up to the speed of the game. I do think we did that. They were very skilled and definitely tested us in the wide channels. We had to defend [most of the half].”

But Sherman did see improvements.

“Most of their points came from our turnovers. We did make improvements in our defensive structure; they tested us more than Connacht. We were able to hold more. And we did make improvements in our attacking structure. Unfortunately we just put the ball on the ground a little too much, leading to turnovers and a couple of long-range tries.”

But in the second half, despite being down 24-0, the All Americans kept playing, and playing hard.

“I was really pleased,” said Sherman. “The guys kept battling hard. We had many line breaks but just struggled to finish. It was a good lesson in high-level rugby where it’s about eliminating giving the opposition extra opportunities and taking opportunities, which we didn’t quite to in the second half. Overall it was a good experience.”